18-35 year-olds are averaging just over 1-1/2 years tenure per job over the last ten years; millennials and the Z-generation making up 50% of the workforce by 2020. – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
32% of global talent leaders view retention as a top priority over the next 12 months. – Forbes, 2018
35% of companies in North America and Asia believe they have enough qualified successors for key positions. – EY Global Leadership Survey, 2018
There’s a significant problem staring you in the face:
I Will Leave You Soon,
Unless You Give Me A Good Reason to Stay
These two major generations in the workforce expect to work with you for less than two years. An over emphasis on talent attraction and hiring without equal emphasis on development and retention will create problems for companies sooner than later. As talent leaders continue to beat the war drums, is everyone missing a larger risk to their organizations?
The economy continues to steadily strengthen and job fluidity continues to shrink tenure. Now more than ever, retention becomes a more important factor in determining which companies thrive and which ones struggle to maintain adequate talent levels for future growth. A popular strategy is to institute programs aimed at either ‘high potentials’ or ‘high-performers’ organically-grown or through external providers.
Both perspectives have companies believing these potential Rockstars may become their future leaders. Emerging managers and leaders are attracted to companies known for strong development opportunities, and a well-managed talent pipeline. Companies such as GE, PepsiCo, and Netflix are known for their attention to growing the next generation of leaders. Both groups of rising talent gravitate around three unique dimensions:
Establish Clear Strategic Priorities. These priorities shape the way companies groom the next tier of leaders. Development answers the question, ‘do you really give a damn about keeping me here?’ For the past five plus years, one of CEO’s top 3 concerns for each year has been attracting and retaining talent. Actions talk. Posters don’t.
Hand-select High-Value Candidates. Communicating who they are to others in the organization is a delicate dance. No one wants to be ‘identified’ as an average performer. The Hi-V manager is one who effortlessly and routinely shines above all others – whether it’s their potential or their outcomes. It’s abundantly clear who they are.
Leading the Talent. How this group of high potentials and high performers are developed, rewarded, and retained is critical and vital to the growth and performance of your company. Too many subscribe to ‘managing talent’ – they’re high-value people not a metric! You manage numbers and lead people…so lead them – that’s on you!
Foundational research from Harvard shows the relevance of the ‘Three Social Motives’
achievement, affiliation, and influence. One form of the last motive, the desire for socialized influence (having a positive impact on others for the good of the larger organization), is a predictor of senior executive potential. Here’s a couple questions:
Do you want to keep the talent you have?
Do you believe in their potential?
Do you value their growth and performance?
The following 4 Leadership Assets may guide you to an insight:
HiPo’s and HiPers Extract Insight. They can make concise and compelling case from a vast array of data that’s less than complete and less than perfect. They also uncover and apply ideas that can reconstruct and synthesize past practices and/or set new directions.
Effectively Engage Others. They are skilled communicators who inspire and move other people forward through emotions and logic. They deliver a clear and persuasive message of vision and are adept at connecting individuals and groups of people.
Resolve. They effortlessly demonstrate resolve and persevere towards goals despite challenges and obstacles, seemingly with ease under stress, pressure and deadlines.
Seek to Understand. Their perspective and empathy may be their most important asset. HiPos (high potentials) and HiPers (high performers) seek understanding – always looking for new experiences, ideas, and knowledge. They seek out feedback from you and others and adjust their behavior accordingly. They are highly self aware. Are you?
At Brookestone, we’ve been delivering a high-value Academy for over 10 years. It’s been proven and fine-tuned with every graduating class. We work with legacy leaders, emerging leaders and lately blending the two groups to create uncommon ground amongst the five generations in the workforce. We’ve delivered personalized solutions for internal work in groups of 10 – 1,000 employees and have deployed the program organization-wide with employees of 5,000+.Your Executive team, your C-suite won’t be here forever and if you don’t invest and build the next tier of leaders, your business won’t be here very long
Best-practice organizations start with a strategic focus and periodically reexamine their strategic priorities and refresh their pool of candidates. Flexibility and adptability are dynamic approaches that yield high ROI results. Initiatives, such as High-Performance Leadership Academy, is not a matter to be delegated to HR. If the senior management team is not involved, the process becomes a waste of valuable resources and capital. While it may be challenging to get senior executives engaged in talent development, but when they are personally invested and see the results month-in and month-out they realize the ROI is real!
Retaining HiPos and Hi-Pers is incredibly simple. Identify, develop, and nurture them. By investing time and attention to the very best people, they will stay with the firm and eventually emerge as key leaders. What about everyone else? Yes, there has been discomfort in differentiating between the average and highly talented.
When we’ve been invited to come alongside an organization even during the initial discussions, we hope to hear from you about a three-tiered approach: the entry level peer that delivers skill development and enhancement, the mid tier where those that express a desire to grow and demonstrate an aptitude for growth and consistent performance are given a pathway to achievement and those who are high-potential and high-performing. An organizational development model similar to this one ensures culture fit, strategic priorities are achieved and a defined path to future leader development.
The Developmental Dialogue. It’s entirely possible and quite often seen where managers of HiPos and HiPers are asked to stretch, challenge, and coach their high-potential employees making sure their assignments push them beyond their comfort zones. This action is sometimes difficult for the manager’s ego as they can and may be left behind, passed over for a promotion they’ve desired. This situation is one we meet head on through the communication system and fluid consistent feedback amongst ‘all players.’
Without challenging discussions about these issues, managers tend to hold on to their high-potential people instead of helping them along an intentional developmental path. The developmental dialogue is foreign to many managers and can cause just as much anxiety as the need to differentiate. In fact many managers avoid coaching discussions, particularly with employees who have more potential in their careers than they do. We give you a pathway to bridge these real and perceived gaps when we’re invited into your organization. To hedge your bet, we ask senior executives to not focus solely on the high-potential programs, but the cancer-causing anxieties of managers who have to execute them.
One way we coach your people through this dimension is to guide managers as coaches to one of their high-potential directs. This time-tested approach has been good for both the chosen employees in the short-term, but also encourages managers to become more comfortable with performance differentiation and developmental discussions by delivering consistent high-value feedback. That is their job isn’t it – to solve problems and communicate more often together?
Leadership Development Has Been a Ripoff
We’ve seen it all too often at both extremes. We’ve come in after the big shops have delivered a 5-day and some a 13-week, invitation only, class that left the participants asking, ‘…what the [NFSW] did we just go through…’ Some charging $10,000 and some as little as $200 a day. Ask the question: Show me your ROI!
Here’s the problem with most so-called LDI presentations:
They Bore Everyone to Death
They’re Generic One Size Fits All
They Force Feed Principles
There’s No Application to Results
They Deliver Poor or No Results, and
There’s Little or No Follow up
We deliver simple strategies that yield extraordinary results. How? The Academy is a small group of managers, usually 12-15, and we deliver engaging and relevant content quickly the way HiPo/HiPer learn and lead. We use a hybrid approach of high-value content, peer support, coaching, live case work and accountability. Each participant must deliver a result each month – ONE THING must be taken back to their organization to apply. We deliver 5-10X ROI guaranteed!
It’s a proven model used with executives and managers around the world.